Dec 112011
 

2012 Honda Civic

One of the least known Honda Civic alternative fuel vehicles is the Compressed Natural Gas(CNG) vehicle. Environmentalists are all smiling about their hybrids and how much less fuel they use and how eco-friendly they all are for using electricity instead of gas. Well, the CNG Honda Civic is a hundred times more environmentally friendly on its worst day.

Why? The plants that produce the electricity used in a hybrid must burn oil, coal, or use a nuclear reaction to provide it. CNG comes from the ground and is easier to drill for than oil, so does not impact the Earth as much during extraction. A CNG vehicle’s carbon footprints is the size of an ant’s next to a hybrid’s. The Civic Natural Gas vehicle is the cleanest-running internal combustion engine ever certified by the Environmental Protection Agency.

What about fuel economy you may ask. How about a Honda Civic that offers 38 mpg and 240 miles between fill ups? Not bad at all. Then there is the time it takes to refuel. Minutes for a CNG Civic. How many hours for your plug-in hybrid or EV? Hours, isn’t it?

Now the other shoe falls. There is a decided lack of infrastructure for the CNG Civic. Refueling stations are rare, even more rare than commercial recharge stations for electric vehicles. A CNG refueling point costs more to install than a traditional gas station, as well. The federal government is considering offering companies incentives and funds to develop CNG infrastructure. The end goal of some investors is to see CNG points next to traditional gas pumps, just like diesel is today.

The Honda Civic CNG was introduced in 1998. Honda has sold few vehicles to the general public, but has enjoyed limited success with municipal fleets. The car was awarded the 2012 Green Car of the Year Award. Hopefully, the added attention will hep to bring the vehicle more into the mainstream.

Dec 042011
 

2012 Honda Civic

The 2012 Honda Civic has been far from a critical or sales success. Critics express their displeasure with words and buyers have been expressing their displeasure by not buying Civics. During an interview at the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito accepted responsibility for the poor performance of the Civic and vowed that his company would improve the car in the very near future.

U.S. sales of the Honda Civic are down 14.8% from last year’s mark, through the first ten months of 2011. Granted, inventory levels were down due to the twin disasters in Japan, but the Civic is showing no signs of life now that inventory levels are close to pre-disaster levels. Given that caveat, Honda’s design team admits dropping the ball and that the Civic’s current design is ”dull and uninspiring.”

Honda creative director Yoshinori Asahi was recently quoted as saying,” In the past few years the cars have been a bit boring.” Ito attempted to explain the lack of new design features by blaming market research that indicated Americans would accept more cheaply made cars during the recent recession, if they were fuel efficient. The company should seriously consider firing the group that performed that market research and examine their own inability to consider that the economy could turnaround before the 2012 Civic hit dealer’s lots.

Honda is hinting at a dramatic change for mid-cycle in 2013. A near complete redesign was scheduled for 2014, but sales for the Civic are so low and complaints so common that Honda has bumped that up a year. American Honda President John Mendel said that the company has been ” appropriately energized” to update and revamp the Civic.

1973 Honda Civic RS

The 2012 Honda Civic is being further crippled by its competitors. Ford, Chevrolet, Hyundai, and Kia have all released cars in direct competition with the Civic, but their offerings include updated tech features and, in some cases, better fuel economy. Given the current market, Honda needs to get something done quickly or the iconic Civic may need to be shelved.

Nov 272011
 

2010 Honda CivicIf you have been shopping for a late model used Honda Civic, you have probably been wondering why the prices seem a bit higher than you might expect. Several factors, dating back to 2008, have compiled to keep the resale value of several Honda offerings, especially the Civic, at record levels. Some are still able to command close to their original MSRP.

The first factor was the economic downturn that began in 2008. Potential buyers found themselves needing to hold on to their cars longer due to job loss or being afraid of a layoff. That slowly led to an absence of quality used cars on dealer’s lots. The trend of holding onto cars continued through late 2010.

In March of 2011 the twin disasters of an earthquake and tsunami devastated the automotive industry in Japan. With several of the major players, including Honda, unable to produce sufficient numbers of new fuel efficient cars, buyers either turned to other automakers or bought used cars. This further strained the dwindling supply of used cars, driving a sharp uptick in the resale value of fuel efficient cars like the Honda Civic.

By the second quarter of 2011, many people were tired of waiting to buy a new car and sales increased. Unfortunately, many of these people were trading in cars that were over five years old or not fuel efficient. This left plenty of undesirable cars on the used market, but fuel efficient cars were still in shorter supply than many people would like, driving resale values even higher.

As a result of all of these factors, the resale value of a used Honda Civic can be nearly as high as its original selling price. Resale values are currently 30% higher than they were in 2008. This situation will reverse itself as the supply of fuel efficient new cars returns to normal. Honda predicts that it will be back at pre-disaster supply levels by March, 2012. When that happens, the average price of a three to five year old used Honda Civic should drop quickly.

 Posted by at 7:18 pm
Nov 172011
 

2012 Honda Civic

The fuel efficiency of the 2012 Honda Civic is at the top of its class. While detractors have said many things about the Civic, its mpg rating has never been an issue. Still, it can be improved with a few relatively inexpensive items. Here are three aftermarket parts that will help you stretch your fuel dollar.

The least expensive item that you can possible buy to improve the mpg of your Honda Civic is a tire gauge. Sound ridiculous? Maybe, but over or under inflated tires have been proven to rob as much as 15% of a vehicle’s fuel efficiency. That can mean around five fewer miles per gallon in a typical Civic. Take into account the excessive wear on your tires and you can see how a $4 tire gauge could save you hundreds of dollars per year.

The next part is very simple as well. A new air filter allows increased air flow to the combustion chambers. By having more oxygen available, you Civic will use less fuel, the cylinders will fire more efficiently, and you can add another 5-10% fuel efficiency. These parts can cost about $10 each. There are performance filters from K&N and other companies that can be cleaned and reused for several years, saving you even more money.

Another way to improve fuel efficiency is to stabilize your Civic’s voltage system. A voltage tuning system offers several benefits including: low, mid, and high rev performance, increased horsepower, more torque, and throttle response all of which lead to better fuel economy through efficient throttle position sensing.

With an automatic transmission the 2012 Honda Civic is rated to get 28 mpg city and 39 mpg on the highway. You can add all of these parts for less than $350. Once they are in place, you could see your Civic’s mpg jump to 45 or higher on the highway. Spread those savings out over the lifetime of your car and you can see that the parts more than pay for themselves.

Nov 102011
 

2012 Honda Civic

In today’s reality of smartphones and on-the-go living, thousands of people are using a mobile app every minute of every day. When you are car shopping, it is essential to know the correct value of the car that you are considering before signing any deal. The logical combination of the two is a mobile app to help you find the right price for a Honda Civic or any other vehicle. Here are three auto value mobile apps compared apples to apples.

Edmunds Mobile

We might as well start with one of the most recognizable names in the automotive review and value game. The app is actually called Inside Line, it allows iPhone and Android users to research new and used cars for value, safety, and current pricing levels. This free app allows you access to the True Market Value for your region. That means the price on the screen is directly relevant to your state or city in some cases. Several users have complained about the limited number of cars that are reviewed by this app.

Kelley Blue Book

Kelley Blue Book is probably the most recognizable name in the automotive value game. The company has been doing its thing for nearly 100 years. The KBB Mobile app is supported on the iPhone, Android, or most mobile browser platforms. The app gives you full access to all information on kbb.com. This app costs everyone’s favorite price: free.

Cars.com

This is another free app, because, well, why pay for the services these apps offer. This app stacks up third on the list. It does have one interesting feature: the ability to add your ”possibilities” to a list and rank them according to your likes. You can add a photo of a car if you see an interesting feature that makes you want to buy it more than others on your list.

Of the three, the Kelley Blue Book app offers the widest range of information on the greatest number of possible cars. Since the only way to get a good deal on a car is to have access to an accurate value, this is probably the best app to download. It could save you thousands of dollars over the life of an average loan.